Get to know Grand Rapids (and the world)

Nick Helmholdt, Pint Craft creator

Friday started off with a lesson in awkwardness.

Scheduling an interview for coffee shops can lead to confusion. I skirted that Thursday with Mike Hughes, but Friday didn’t go so well.

Nick Helmholdt and I were scheduled to meet at 8:30 a.m. at Kava House in Eastown, Grand Rapids. Well, we had never met, nor seen each other. Ever.

I arrived and was the only one in the store, besides a few ladies. He arrived soon after, ordered and sat down across the cafe.

We looked around, sipped coffee, and starred at each other for a few minutes. Then he waved, and I said, “Hi, Nick?”

I wondered over, and we did our interview on the craft brewing card game he created, which you can see on KickStarter. (He works full time at Clean Energy Coalition.)

We soon dropped into the deep discussion of life, which oddly enough concluded with him suggesting I rewatch I Heart Huckabees with the meaning of life in mind.

He said he’s read (and listened to) some great books on similar subjects recently. And although life is subject to change, a lot of it has to do with seeing the result of good work.

“Whether that’s helping people, fixing things or making something great,” he said. “When you feel that, or lose sense of time, it’s a great experience.”

A curse of modern life, he said, is the multitude of things available to do for money. It’s so easy to fall into something you might not love, and never find something you love, and stay with it for the rest of your life.

His theory on a life of happiness is similar to Ben Darcie‘s money will follow passion.

“My theory is if you find that thing that motivates you, money will figure its way into your life,” he said.

That led to our discussion of my recent trip to the Grand Rapids Art Museum which saw a large, paint-by-number abstract painting. In my mind, it was nothing, a terrible attempt at art that could have been done by a middle schooler.

But the sign said the artist was one of the greatest Dutch artists of the 20th century.

“There’s a community for anything and everything,” Helmboldt said. “There will be somebody that loves it.”

It kind of makes you realize you shouldn’t worry much about the haters. The 10 percent that Hughes spoke of Thursday.

But the deeper question of “Why are we even here?”

Helmboldt couldn’t come close to answering that. But responded with a deeper question:

“Why don’t we care?”

 

 

 

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